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Why the Elderly Should Eat More Celery

By Lee Nyberg, 9:00 am on

Cultures dating back to the 9th century used celery for its many medicinal properties. The vegetable was commonly used to treat maladies of the gastrointestinal system, the heart, and the liver. In fact, celery was not regarded as food in Europe until the 1700s. Modern-day research reveals the green, leafy stalks offer many health benefits. Because celery is easy to prepare and can be eaten at any time, many seniors add it as an ingredient to soups, stews, and other dishes, while others enjoy it as a snack topped with cheese or peanut butter.

Seniors often needs encouragement from friends, family, or a caregiver to incorporate nutritious foods such as celery in their diets. Omaha, NE, senior care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.

1. Provides a Wide Array of Nutrients

Many have heard the old wives’ tale that celery provides negative calories, and the body burns more calories to digest the vegetable than it receives from it. However, this is not true. Each stalk contains 20 calories and a wealth of vitamins and minerals. These nutrients include vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, folic acid, vitamins C, E, D, K, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Magnesium relaxes the central nervous system, which creates an overall calming effect. The fiber content can help your loved one feel full because it deters hunger. 

2. Protects against Cancer

Celery contains a number of compounds known to prevent the development of malignant cells. Coumarin is a phytochemical that boosts the ability of invasion-fighting white blood cells, and it can also ease migraines and enhance the function of blood vessels. Apigenin and luteolin are two flavonoids found in the vegetable that prevent cancer. All of these compounds help protect the lungs and pancreas from malignancies. 

3. Boosts Vascular Health

Each crisp, green stalk contains a compound known as 3-n-butylphthalide (3nB), which reduces blood pressure. Researchers at the National University of Singapore discovered that this compound can lower blood pressure by up to 14 percent. It also reduces cholesterol by up to 7 percent. Seniors gain similar benefits every time they eat four to six stalks of celery. 

Some seniors need support and motivation from caregivers or friends to adopt wholesome eating habits and an active lifestyle. An Omaha home caregiver can help your elderly loved one manage his or her health in a variety of ways. If your loved one needs encouragement to exercise more often, eat healthier foods, or socialize on a regular basis, an in-home caregiver can address these and many other health-related concerns.

4.Reduces Inflammation

Celery’s 3nB and polyacetylene compounds have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. This is particularly important for seniors with arthritis, fibromyalgia, or gout. A group of scientists from the University of Queensland in Australia administered 34 milligrams of celery seed extract to volunteers with gout, osteoarthritis, and osteoporosis twice each day for 12 weeks. After the first three weeks, participants reported between 68 to 100 percent reduction in pain. The anti-inflammatory properties of celery can alleviate the symptoms of asthma, respiratory infections, and stiff joints. 

Family caregivers can help their loved ones eat healthier by including nutritious foods like celery in their diets. Consider hiring a professional caregiver who is trained to motivate your loved one to adopt healthy habits. For seniors living in Omaha, NE, part-time care can be a wonderful solution when they need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home. Call (402) 763-9140 to learn more about our comprehensive services, which are designed to promote independence, confidence, and overall wellbeing in seniors.